Very impressed with what I have read so far regarding the Zhonghua. Does anyone know if, and when, the car might be exported to other countries? If the Zhonghua is as reliable and inexpensive as described, it should be very successful in other markets- such as Australia and New Zealand. The Hyundai was introduced into Australia in the late 1980`s and proved a winner because it was very cheap - yet reliable - and is now marketed with a 5 year unconditional factory warranty.
The Zhonghua is now being exported to Germany (!!!) Yes, it is kind of odd that they should start with one of the most competitive markets in the world... but at 20,000 Euros, it is about half the price of a comparably equipped Volkswagen Passat... Ironically, the most resistence appear to come from BMW, the joint-venture partner of Zhonghua (BMW currently sub-contracts the manufacture of the 5-series sedans in China to Zhonghua)...
Should be interesting... sadly, the only other Chinese offering in Germany is the Landwind, which appeared to have done poorly in crash testing... no information yet as to how the Zhonghua will fair in those tests.
Like everything else - it's cheap for a reason. You get what you pay for. I'd personally forgo luxury niceties for decent safety equipment any day. The Landwind is a Chinese Isuzu MU knockoff which did appallingly in NCAP crash tests, even by second-rate SUV standards. However, like Korea before, and Japan before that, I believe the Chinese auto products will only increase in safety and quality (and therefore, price) as the years progress.
I really like the look of the Zhonghua, if the rest of the Chinese auto industry starts making cars like that, then Mitsubishi and Honda had better watch out. Of course, that's assuming the quality is up to the level of the style, and everything I've read about this car indicates that it is. China Brilliance could probably start exporting these to the US right now, and provided the price was low enough, they would certainly sell.
If you buy a Chinese-made car, you deserve all you get. My money would sooner go to a second-hand BMW, Volvo or similar. And before you call me a "badge slave", just take a quick peek at NCAP test footage (they're easy to find). One look should tell you that "cheap" comes at a high price...
Zhonghua is really good looking and they launch new products in China already which hatchback named FRV. And also I found another brand which named BYD in Beijing AUTO show 2008, they gave me a surprise about their EV Hybrid cars...wow~ the Chinese cars is growing step by step.
But the copying culture is shocking the world.. just can't imagine that the Chinese copy and paste culture is going up to another step.. copy and paste a tons of good cars and sell it about quarter and half price against the sourced cars.. Is that was annoying? But the quality still not par with the others make.. china cars failed miserably euro NCAP.."the good looking" and "cheap/low prices" still can't convinced peoples to buy one and drives the car in Europe... the most concern about car in Europe was "SAFETY FEATURE". Chinese need to improve their cars if wanna compete in open market.. not just quality, handling, engine improvement, but the most important thing is.. The safety feature.. again!! SAFETY FEATURE!!
That was the fact that all China car manufacturers need to take an attention as the main priority! And don't ever simply copy and paste the other good cars.. all I can say is, still long ways to go for China cars before they can be good as Japanese and Korean cars. Or maybe no!
Do a google search on Zonghua crash test. I think I would be safer on a motorbike. Anyone who buys this car is taking a serious risk, I just wouldn't buy one at any price.
When I was in China last year, I was told that when they acquired the production rights to the VW Jetta, they pared down the original design with thinner steel and fewer spot welds (as both add production cost)
The Chinese Jetta thus has enough strength to bear its own weight and four passengers, but nothing in reserve.
My Chinese hosts assured me that the cars were still safe as they were mainly used in cities, and it is a common Chinese belief that you can cannot die in a low speed accident (presumably <70km/h).
Interesting to look for in the future, but don't expect to see one over here in the USA any time soon.
Problem is that Chinese cars don't come close to meeting our safety standards. A few Chinese car makers have tried to come over to the US, but couldn't make the safety requirements. And that of course spurred the 'unsafe Chinese cars!' stories on the news. And rightfully so, traffic in the US tend to be faster because of more open roads and commuting longer distances. I hit 65 miles/hour+ on a daily basis. And cars tend to be bigger over here as well... I couldn't imagine what would happen to one of those cars if it got hit by a 8000 pound Ford F-250 truck... probably would be dead on the spot. And safety equipment isn't free, so I'm wondering how cheap these cars will stay with thicker steel and safety engineering. And then our emissions standards... US has been tightening emissions standards hard recently. Not free either...
Should be interesting to see in the future. Probably gonna stay away from them for awhile when they come over until they work the bugs out and prove themselves a little.
The crash test you are all raving about is what every China hater points to, and undoubtedly will continue to for the unforeseeable future. That model was never in production. The car was redesigned and got 3 stars at a Spanish euro-ncap facility. While I agree that 3 stars isn't great, and is barely acceptable, it's a far departure from a death trap.
China now has a few affordable 5 star crash tested cars, which meet US emission standards. The Chinese NCAP is extremely good and not at all biased towards Chinese cars, as can be seen from the results. There are very few 5 star or even 4 star Chinese cars in it. Most receive 3 or lower. Chery, one of the better Chinese car manufacturers, has even guaranteed that all future models will be at least 4 stars.